Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Asia today - Chinese technological changes and reforms, Asian land/office prices and the RICE bucket challenge

Asian markets are generally in the red today with no huge stories grabbing all the headlines.  The first story that caught my attention was this one observing that:

'China is planning to take on Apple and Google with a new homegrown operating system that will launch this year, as Chinese government seeks to distance itself from imported rivals. The new operating system created by the Chinese government will hit desktops first when its released in October...and will hopefully supplant Windows, OS X and Chrome OS as the top desktop operating system in China within one to two years, with a mobile version planned as well.

Now we all know that the pace of technological change is phenomenal in China and, when combined with the lure of national champions, the above story cannot be that surprising.  China has, of course, been a difficult market (for differing reasons) for both Apple and Google to get traction in.  This pace of technological change however transcends more than just 'foreign' players as this extract from an article in today's Financial Times shows:


Such campaigns are, of course, part of the ongoing microeconomic reforms and a source such as the People's Daily (@PDChina) is an interesting source of comments.  Earlier today, for example, they noted:

'Average annual salary of SOEs’ chairmen was US$140,000 in 2013. Draft rules will adjust executives’ salary to 30 percent of current level'

and

'China Southern Airlines renamed some First Class seating to Business Class after civil servants banned fm First Class'

The overt reform agenda continues.   

Reform however is within the context of export assistance as shown in the chart below.  It is interesting to contrast the differential compared to India but what is perhaps the most striking is the G7 ex US line.  Who would have thought that?


A couple of final graphics, first a surprising selection of south asia capitals have the highest year-to-date land/office price appreciation (and look at Hong Kong at the bottom of the pile)...


...whilst India has a whole new take on the Ice Bucket Challenge as per this link:


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